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Ever wondered how important is the motor size on electric bikes? The larger the motor’s power, the stronger it will be. The importance of an ideal motor size is determined by your own needs, preferences, and the road type you intend to ride. 

Though motors come in various sizes, understanding the measurements of Watts or Newton Meters is an excellent way to know how much power they have. Since all the terms describe different outputs, these measurements can ideally evaluate the capacity generated by an eBike motor. 

However, it can be challenging to determine what motor size you require if you’re not familiar with the terms. Let’s look at a brief discussion of the importance of motor size and how its power impacts your performance.

How Important Is Motor Size On Electric Bikes?

Physical dimensions of a motor do not matter in terms of performance. Some motors are twice the strength, even though they are only half the size of other large engines. However, the higher the watt, the more your eBike can pull weight. 

Different motor sizes

Electric bike motors come in a different variety of power ratings. Generally speaking, there are 250 watts to 1500 watts motors. High-powered motors are also available ranging from 1000W to 6000W. Some massive power level motors have 10KW like motorbike level eBike. But the legal limit in the United States is 750 watts. Despite the fact, different states set their own limitations. 

Define your purpose

Importance of motor watts depends on your purpose. When you’re commuting on flat city roads, then a 250w eBike motor is perfect. If you require riding 20 miles an hour off-road, 350W-500W can match your need. While you ride through tough terrains, some top notch 750 watt electric bikes will be an ideal option. 

Motor’s design and location portray a vital role in how your eBike motor works. Nowadays, there are two most common electric motor types available. They are-

  • Hub Motors: These motors are typically linked into the rear or front wheel of your eBike. When this is integrated into your eBike, it can pull or push the wheel all along. 

Though these work well, they lose effectiveness on mountains or terrain as they are not connected to gear. Hub motors will be a great companion for getting you to your destination but won’t optimum speed.  

  • Mid-drive Motors:  These motors are integrated with cranks and gears. It gives satisfactory performance using the least battery power. 

If you’re searching for hill-climbing power motors, mid-drive motors can give you an advantage. Handling these motors is easy as they use better gear systems and have lower weight.

How are Motors Measured?

Learning basic terms of electricity, you can understand how motors are measured. Let’s dig a little deeper and understand discuss these electric measurements in simple terms- 

Volts:  Volts are the rate of flow of electric power that flows through electricity at any given time. This is the SI unit of electromotive force.

Amps: It’s a measurement of how much electric power a battery can hold before it’s exhausted. 

Amp Hours (Ah): Ah is a technique used to determine a battery’s total energy capacity. To be more precise, it determines how much current can be delivered in an hour at a certain voltage.

Watts: Watts is the measurement of power that a motor has. It’s a measurement of Volts that is multiplied by amps. 

Watts Hours: This is similar to Amp Hours; it measures the amount of power (watts) delivered in a single hour. These are typically used to describe batteries rather than motors, but a motor can also be expressed as a Wh measurement.

Newton Meters/Torque: With Newton Meters, you can measure torque. In contrast, overall force produced by an object turning in a linear rotation is measured by torque.

These are the basic terms you should know to understand eBike motor power. But how do you apply these terms in real-life usage while getting or inspecting a motor’s size or power? Here’s how: 

The most valuable way to perceive the total power of an eBike motor is to understand Watt and Newton Meters. The larger the Watt and Newton Meters are, the powerful the motor will be. If you can’t locate W and Nm, try multiplying volts by amps to get total watts produced by your eBike motor.

What Size of Motor Do You Need for Your eBike?

Depending on your intent of riding, you need to choose an ideal motor size for your eBike. You don’t need powerful motors to ride if you’re riding on smooth city roads. However, a powerful motor is essential when riding over a steep mountain. 

You must evaluate the level of pedal assistance, range, along with price in addition to the motor size. Buying a powerful motor will lose your money if you don’t need this. Moreover, it can drain your battery so quickly if you don’t use it properly.

As a result, while upgrading your eBike, replace your eBikes battery before changing the motor. A larger battery will increase your range, letting you travel further or use a more powerful turbo mode for longer periods. 

In general, when you buy an eBike from a reputable eBike manufacturer, you’ll get a motor that’s rated for your type of activity. However, here are some general ratings to help you get a proper idea of what to look for in your eBike motor:

How Electric Bike Motors Work

All types of eBike motors work with controllers and batteries. The main thing the controllers do is adjust the amount of power flowing to your motor.  Controller uses your input like ‘pedal only’ or ‘pedal-assist mode’ and transfers the required amount of current from the battery into the motor. 

Some electric bikes have throttles that allow using the motor without pedaling. However, particular areas have restrictions that govern whether you can ride an electric bike with a throttle or not.

There will be a Rear Hub setup in your eBike. Battery’s power flows to the rear motor and spins the wheels. You’ll feel pushed as a result of this. Some mid-drive motors attached in middle of your bike mean it interacts with gear. With these motors in a low gear setup, climbing hills is more effective for both your legs along with a battery. 

General eBike Motor Size Recommendations:

  1. City Bicycles: 250 W / 40 Nm minimum
  2. Cruiser/Cargo Bicycles: 350 W / 50 Nm minimum
  3. Mountain Bicycles: 450 W / 60 Nm minimum
  4. Speed Bicycles: 500 W / 65 Nm minimum

To put it briefly, if you have to deal with city roads, you should not consider a motor that is less than 250 Watts. If you weigh up to more than 200 pounds, you should aim for a minimum of 350 Watts.750 Watts motor is powerful regarding 500 watts motor. 

You have to consider that the larger the motor, the bigger the battery you’ll need for a better combination. 

Laws about Electric Bike Motor Sizes

There are different laws about the motor size that eBikes can have in some areas. Europe, Japan, China, and some other countries limited the power range to 250 W. 

In the US, as indicated earlier, power limit is 750 watts. While buying a motor for your eBike, ensure what is legal in your areas or get expert advice from a reputable dealer. 

However, a 350 W engine is standard in Canada. In Canada, only eight provinces permit eBikes. Among those seven provinces, motors are limited to 500 watts, but in Alberta, 750 watts can be allowed.

Wrapping Up

These are the basics to consider while you’re thinking about motor sizes on your eBike. To recap, your eBike motor power depends on how much speed you require, as well as battery capacity, voltage, or budget. Moreover, consider the type of riding you’re going to do, like time or road type.

Once you gather all the details, you can easily understand which motor size will be the best for your eBike. If you’re still concerned about your eBike motor size, let us know through the comment section, we’ll get to it. 

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